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Ratzinger answers contraception advocates in new book

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger says in his new book that blaming the world's perceived population problems on the Church's anti-contraception stance is "complete nonsense".

God and the World: Believing and Living In Our Time (Ignatius Press) is based on three days of interviews between journalist Peter Seewald and Cardinal Ratzinger at the Italian Benedictine abbey of Monte Cassino. Ratzinger is the Prefect of the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

The 460-page collection of questions covers a wide range of topics, such as the existence of heaven and hell, God's mercy, the crisis of faith, and whether Jews should acknowledge Christ as the Messiah.

Regarding population-growth problems in the Third World and the blame that is laid on the Church's teachings against contraception, Cardinal Ratzinger responded, "This, of course, is complete nonsense."

"The misery is the result of a breakdown of the moral sense that once gave order to life," he said. That moral sense, in fact, "prevented the great misery we can see nowadays," he added.

Later the cardinal said: "The misery comes not from large families, but from the irresponsible and undisciplined procreation of children who have no father, and often no mother, and who, as street children, have to suffer the real distress of a spiritually distorted world."

Ignatius Press | God and the World: Believing and Living in our Time
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
The Cardinal Ratzinger Fan Club


16 Sep 2002